Safety first and foremost concern at fair

By Kelsey Gibbs |

Published 08/06 2014 05:57PM

Updated 08/06 2014 06:37PM

ILLINOIS -- The State Fair kicks off Thursday. Wednesday, all rides were reviewed to make sure they're ready to go. WCIA-3's Kelsey Gibbs sees what inspectors look for.

"I'm going to be concerned about the ride because the last year, they have a little problem."

Lisa Rowe took her three grandchildren to opening day last year. She says some rides didn't have seat-belts and it concerned her.

"Still don't want to be worrying about your child getting hurt."

This time Thursday, hundreds and thousands of people are going to be enjoying their time here at the Illinois State Fair. That's why the state is making sure all these rides are up to code.

"We inspect all traveling amusement rides in the state of Illinois from Great America Six Flags to state fairs."

Ryan Culton is with the Amusement Ride Safety Division. He says two kids broke their arms on a ride at the State Fair.

"We even took action to put a stop operational order on the ride. That was last year. Still has not been allowed to reopen."

Inspectors aren't just checking rides. The Amusement Ride Safety Division will also be checking carnival workers.

"Make sure that all the maintenance logs are kept up with, all the criminal background checks, and the registered sex offender checks are all kept up on all the operators of the rides."

Rowe says she just hopes this year will be a safe one.

"I'm worried about the safety. I pray this year."

The Amusement Ride Safety Division will continue to perform safety checks throughout the week of the fair. There are five full-time workers on the Amusement Ride Safety Division. They conduct nearly 4,000 ride inspections at stationary parks, traveling carnivals or fairs throughout the state.

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